Adding another item to my List of Things I'll Never Understand, celebrity tycoon Donald Trump is leading in early Republican 2012 presidential polls.
Donald Trump is now tied with Mike Huckabee for first place when Republicans are asked who they support for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, according to a new national poll.
Nineteen percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents questioned in the poll say that as of now, they'd be most likely to support Trump for next year's GOP presidential nomination. Trump says he'll decide by June whether he runs for the White House. An equal amount say they'd back Huckabee. The former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate says he'll decide by later this year if he'll make another bid for the White House.
"The Donald" is making waves. Hopefully CNN Polling Director Keating Holland is right when he says, "more than four in ten Republicans say they would not like to see Trump toss his hat in the ring."
Many conservatives have become quite smitten with the man whose life philosophy is to squeeze every dime out of a deal. Is it the hair? Is it "The Apprentice"? Did they forget he briefly ran for President on the Reform ticket in 2000 (NTTAWWT)?
I admit that Trump hounding Obama about his birth certificate has certainly been fun. But, really? Donald Trump?
- A "growing curiosity" about him within Evangelical circles
- Why I like Donald Trump
- Donald Trump is Winning Me Over... and Quick
Hopefully, this is a crush that soon will fade away.
Trump's comment that if he doesn't get the GOP nomination he "could possibly win as an independent" isn't going to help him with the party faithful, but probably won't hurt him much in the primaries. Learning that Trump wanted Oprah as his running mate in 2000, however, could certainly cast some doubts.
But that's just a soap opera. There's so much wrong with Donald Trump that, substance alone should derail his presidential hopes.
Can someone say "TrumpCare?"
I'm a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health. It is an unacceptable but accurate fact that the number of uninsured Americans has risen to 42 million. Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare. -- Donald Trump, The America We Deserve, p.206-208 & 218 Jul 2, 2000
That's right. Trump not only pushed for universal healthcare, but also supported the "talented" Hillary Clinton's HillaryCare!
Donald Trump is no capitalist either.
Trump professes to support free trade, yet proposes a 25% tax on imported goods from China to level what he sees as trade imbalances in the global economy. It's a contemptuous proposal which would immediately punish Americans by raising the price on virtually everything we buy.
He has also called for regulators to stop European stock operator Deutsche Börse's planned $9.5 billion buyout of the NYSE Euronext, telling Fox Business Network, "I don't want foreign countries owning the New York Stock Exchange." If he was the president, he added, he "wouldn't even have allowed the discussions to take place." In a capitalist country, shareholders make that kind of decision, not regulators. Trump sees a clear role for government picking winners and losers in the economy, just the same as the previous presidents he claims to critique.
On top of that, he has pushed for a one-time 14.25% tax on the rich as a means of supplementing funding for Social Security and Medicaid, along with universal health care. Philosophically, those positions are indistinguishable from the anti-capitalist political establishment now in power.
Trump, of course, is free to run and support whatever platform he wishes, as are his many fans across the country. But despite his personal fortune, they should know his proposals and political philosophy are far from capitalist. Punitive and redistributionist taxes, centralized planning, barriers to trade and an entitlement "social safety net" are all ideas straight out of Karl Marx, not John Galt.
Like any good corporatist, Donald Trump also eagerly stole private property from people via eminent domain abuse. As Jacob Sullum reports, "With help from a state redevelopment agency, Donald Trump tried to throw an elderly widow out of her Atlantic City home to make room for expansion of his casino."
Donald Trump, the early 2012 Republican frontrunner, has also donated hundreds of thousands to Democrats including Harry Reid and Rahm Emmanuel in 2010.
What about foreign policy? That's what counts!
Well, Trump told WSJ's Kelly Evans that he's "very good in foreign affairs." So, there you have it.
Oh, Trump's not going to go "apologizing to the world." No sir. Because like any political demagogue, Trump has Grand Plans. He'll stick "our enemy" China with a 25% tariff on all imports, seize Iraqi and Libyan oil, and then just basically screw everyone else. Like The Donald said, "I think I probably have more experience than anybody ... And by the way, I can tell you something else: I dealt with Khadafy. I rented him a piece of land. He paid me more for one night than the land was worth for two years - and then I didn't let him use the land."
Yes. Trump will bring the foreign policy of a dictator to the United States.
The celebrity demagogue has Grand Visions for domestic policy too. "I would like to rebuild the United States," says Trump. "We would have no lack of projects. You do airports, you do road work, you do mass transit, you do a lot of things." That's right. Trump will be the new and improved FDR.
Vote for Donald Trump in 2012, that is, if you want a dictator.
Anyone who has read Friedrick Hayek's The Road to Serfdom should be able to understand the new popularity of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. When Hayek writes that the average person is attracted to the "can do" leader, it is not hard to believe that Trump fits within the broad definition of what Hayek had in mind.
It is the belief that what the country needs is a leader who can fix things. As far as Trump on the issues, it appears his view is exactly this view that what is needed is a qualified leader and that he is such a leader and President Obama is not.
With this as his sole guiding light, Trump can come down anywhere on any issue. He does not appear to have any deeply formed views about free markets, foreign affairs or anything else. He has a very gut instinct view, which attracts the average man in the street.
Since it is clear he has no understanding of Hayek's warning about the "can do" leader, one can certainly surmise he has no understanding of Hayek's further warning of how the "can do" leader is also the leader that leads a country down the road to serfdom. And it is because of this, that a President Trump may be a very dangerous thing.
Further, a Trump candidacy should also not be taken lightly. I have always been fascinated how Trump as a developer has had no problems with the notoriously difficult to deal with NYC construction unions. Trump seems to be able to work with them. During the general election, this could be a vulnerable spot for President Obama in a Trump-Obama race. Unions are the base of Obama's support, I think Trump can nip away at that.
It's still early in the race to the 2012 election and Trump says he won't announce a decision on running until June ... Perhaps, he is just feeding into the buzz to boost ratings for his show and sales of his book. If, on the other hand, Trump announces in June that he is serious and will become a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, it is going to be time for all of us to re-read The Road to Serfdom and pay close attention to what Hayek says about "can do" leaders.